Celebrating change

At one time, I worked at a hospital whose motto was “we’re changing lives” in healthcare.In their promotions, they would share stories about patients whose lives have been improved through their medical care.
Sometimes the people who work in healthcare have had their lives  changed, also.
I have recently shared these examples on the blog Facebook page .

Kevin Morton entered a hospital the first time  with a bullet in his chest. Years later, he has returned- this time with a stethoscope around his neck.

 stethoscope with a heart

Detroit gunshot victim inspired to become doctor

Karen Muraszko was born “handicapped” but her parents didn’t see or treat  her as disabled. Neither did she. So she learned to help other children with the same diagnosis she has- spina bifida.

Doctor with spina bifida defies expectations 

Spina bifida is a neural tube defect – a type of birth defect of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. It happens if the spinal column of the fetus doesn’t close completely during the first month of pregnancy. This can damage the nerves and spinal cord. Screening tests during pregnancy can check for spina bifida. Sometimes it is discovered only after the baby is born.

The symptoms of spina bifida vary from person to person. Most people with spina bifida are of normal intelligence. Some people need assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs. They may have learning difficulties, urinary and bowel problems, or hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.

The exact cause of spina bifida is unknown. It seems to run in families. Taking folic acid can reduce the risk of having a baby with spina bifida. It’s in most multivitamins. Women who could become pregnant should take it daily.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke





 Nanette Monroe didn’t listen when people told her she was “too old” to pursue her dream. She did anyway, and now she helps others do the same.



Svetlana Kleyman‘s life was changed, first by an unexpected illness which left her with a physical disability, and then by other people’s response to it. She’s still fighting to get her life back.

SUNY wouldn’t let me finish residency



And Dr. Heimlich may be 96 years old and retired, but he is still changing lives with the famous maneuver he developed. Listen to how he saved a woman’s life recently.





How to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim 


Memorial Day

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered the poppy seeds , allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Being the daughter and wife of United States military veterans, I appreciate all the other families of our country’s veterans. With sadness and appreciation, I remember all the men and women who left home to serve our nation and never returned home.

We celebrate the unofficial start of summer at the end of May as a “holiday” weekend. However, Memorial Day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who lost their lives while defending our freedom. It is our duty to honor their sacrifices, to pray for their families, and to bow our heads in recognition of their service.

The American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as a symbol of this remembrance.
We will never forget.
used by permission
Why the poppy?

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered the poppy seeds , allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

In Flanders Fields

 This now famous poem was written by a Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

Dr.McCrae was an English and math teacher, as well as a poet, before he attended medical school. He moved to England and was practicing there when World War I broke out, and he was called to serve as a brigade-surgeon.

I suspect that as a physician, he was deeply  pained by  treating the wounded, and the lossong the ones he could not save.

“In April 1915, McCrae was stationed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders, during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres.

In the midst of the tragic warfare, McCrae’s friend, twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave.

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”


simple cross grave markers in a cemetery

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, 18721918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky, 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe! 
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high! 
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poem is in the public domain.

exploring the HEART of service

Dr. Aletha

%d bloggers like this: